► Renault to use sail-powered cargo ships
► Trial due to start in 2024 with Neoline
► Part of major drive to reduce CO2 footprint
Renault will trial a new carbon-neutral form of shipping in 2024 – swapping traditionally dirty cargo ships for sail-powered boats to transport its cars around the world.
The car maker is partnering with Neoline, a French company pioneering wind power for transatlantic shipping.
Its boats use vast 50m tall solid sails for propulsion on long-distance routes. Renault plans to launch the roll-on, roll-off commercial service in 2024.
It’s not just short-haul journeys; Renault will test the new scheme transporting vehicles to north America from Saint-Nazaire, in western France. Although it doesn’t sell cars in the US, Renault has been selling EVs including the Twizy in Canada and on islands around the Americas.
Around 300-400 vehicles can be shipped on each Neoline vessel, the company said. Although it will take a little longer than a traditional cargo ship, this method of transportation will reduce the carbon emissions that make up a significant part of a vehicle’s cradle-to-grave impact.
It’s part of a major decarbonisation programme at Renault. It has pledged to achieve net zero carbon in Europe by 2030 and worldwide by 2050.